with Dave King (Asian Auto Parts)
Build Your Own Panhard Bar
For everyone that owns a SPOA and has had trouble turning when ever you articulate a panhard bar may be the answer for you!
Every time I got caught in a twisted up spot and needed to turn to the right, I couldn't due to the long shackles and springs shifting to the side. We were getting everything ready for the annual Suzuki's On the Rocks on the Rubicon trail, and I wasn't looking forward to all those big twisted turns and rocks with out being able to turn in any direction. So along with as many mods as I had time for prior to going was building a pan hard bar. I knew some older pickup trucks came with them (or was told they did) and knew for it to work it had to run as close to the same angle as did the Z-link steering bar.
I started off with some "DOM" same size as the bushings for the missing links and stock shackles, some old rubber bushings, an adjuster off a steering tie rod, and a smaller piece of DOM for the main arm. Then I welded plates to the stock spring pads on the passenger's side, and the frame on the driver's side using 1/4 inch thick riser plates for trailer spring mounts. They were cut down to just long enough to add the bushing ends and ran a bolt through them on each end to hold them tight.
I could have built a bump stop on top of them, but with the lift I have, it wasn't needed (yet). All of this took about an hour to build and install at a cost of under $100 dollars parts and labor. We took our trip through the Rubicon Trail, and broke about everything else but the Pan Hard bar. We bent then broke the Z-link, bent the tie rod on the big boulders, but never once had a loss of steering.
I even feel better about driving on road, where in the past while going through "S" curves it seemed to take too long to recover from turning one way to turning back the other way. Now it handles great, on or off road. You will notice from these pictures, no matter what wheel you drop or stuff, you still keep your shackles straight, thus giving you all the steering need to turn left or right.